Steering Committee

  • Professor Vicki Flenady

    Professor Vicki Flenady

    Director; Co-lead Risk Factors; Co-lead Implementation

    Professor Vicki Flenady leads the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence which aims to reduce stillbirths and improve care for families when a child is stillborn through high quality research and raising community awareness.  Vicki was lead author on The Lancet’s stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016. Vicki’s research currently focused on stillbirth prevention through better understanding of causal pathways and risk factors and is currently leading a large-scale trial on a mobile phone app for women on fetal movements to reduce stillbirth rates. With a clinical background in midwifery and neonatal nursing and masters and PhD in perinatal epidemiology in stillbirth prevention, Vicki has a keen interest in addressing evidence practice gaps in maternity care. Vicki is an active member of the International Stillbirth Alliance. 

  • Professor David Ellwood

    Professor David Ellwood

    Co-director; Co-lead Risk Factors

    David Ellwood joined Griffith University in early 2013 to take up a joint appointment as Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Director of Maternal-Fetal medicine at Gold Coast Health. Prior to this he was Deputy Dean at the Australian National University Medical School in Canberra. He has held various roles within the School of Medicine including Academic Lead for Selections, and has been the School’s Equity & Diversity champion. Since 2015 he has been Deputy Head of School (Research) and in August of this year was appointed to the position of Dean, and Head of School of Medicine. He remains clinically active working as a sub-specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and has long-standing research interests in a range of adverse of outcomes of pregnancy.

    He is the Co-Director of the Stillbirth CRE and has published extensively in this area. He is also the Chair of the Queensland Maternal & Perinatal Quality Council which is responsible for monitoring pregnancy outcomes across the State. In addition to his local and State roles, he has an important national role in the standards of medical education as the immediate past-Chair of the Medical School’s Accreditation Committee of the Australian Medical Council (AMC), and is currently the President of the AMC.


  • Associate Professor Philippa Middleton

    Associate Professor Philippa Middleton

    Co-lead Implementation

    Philippa Middleton is a Principal Research Fellow in the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and an Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide.  As a perinatal epidemiologist and implementation scientist, she specialises in randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, research synthesis, guidelines, research reporting standards and translating research evidence into policy and practice. Her areas of expertise include preterm birth, nutrition, diabetes, stillbirth and health disparities, and she has a particular interest in Indigenous health.

  • Ms Leigh Brezler

    Ms Leigh Brezler

    CEO Stillbirth Foundation Australia

    Leigh joined the Stillbirth Foundation Australia as CEO in September 2019. She has built her career as a senior business development leader in the arts, culture, sport and finance sectors in Australia and the USA, during which she has demonstrate strong advocacy, partnership and stakeholder management skills.

    Leigh took up the position at an important time for the Foundation. Following the Senate Inquiry, the tragedy of stillbirth has been rightly on the national agenda and has bipartisan support. Leigh focuses on raising awareness and funds to promote continued research and education as well working with key stakeholders to ensure that parents’ voices are listened to and acted upon.

  • Professor Jonathan Morris

    Professor Jonathan Morris

    Co-lead Research Capacity Development; Co-lead Care After Stillbirth


    Jonathan Morris is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist.  Currently, Professor Morris is Director of The Kolling Institute, based at Royal North Shore Hospital. The Institute aims to embed high quality biomedical research within health to realize its mission of research discovery, development, delivery and dissemination for healthy people, healthy lives and communities. Professor Morris also leads the Perinatal Research Division within the Kolling Institute, a team comprising over 30 researchers in Basic Science, Clinical and Population Health Perinatal Research.

  • Professor Euan Wallace

    Professor Euan Wallace

    Co-lead Prediction and Placenta


    Euan Wallace currently holds clinical positions as Head of Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Monash University; Director of Obstetric Services at Monash Health; and Co-Director, The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.  Over a period of 25 years, Professor Wallace’s research has addressed diverse aspects of fetal and maternal medicine, including fetal development and maternal physiology.  The major areas of research currently being addressed by his group are: fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia, placental ageing and stillbirth, and cell therapies.

  • Dr Adrienne Gordon

    Dr Adrienne Gordon

    Co-lead Risk Factors; Lead Public Awareness


    Doctor Adrienne Gordon is known nationally, and emerging internationally, as a clinician and academic establishing a strong research career in the area of stillbirth and adverse perinatal outcomes. Currently a Neonatologist in the RPA centre for newborn care, Dr Gordon is also an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Sydney. Having completed a PhD on risk factors for stillbirth, her current ECR Fellowship aims to develop and pilot test a culturally appropriate information resource for pregnant women targeting health behaviours that can optimise pregnancy outcome.

  • Professor Sailesh Kumar

    Professor Sailesh Kumar

    Co-lead Prediction and Placenta

    Professor Kumar is a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Sub-specialist at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane and Head of the Academic Discipline of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Queensland. He leads an active research group collaborating across specialities both in basic science as well as clinical projects. Professor Kumar is also Visiting Professor at the Imperial College in London and is actively involved in both clinical practice and research.

  • Associate Professor Fran Boyle

    Associate Professor Fran Boyle

    Co-lead Care After Stillbirth


    Associate Professor Fran Boyle is a social scientist with qualifications in psychology and public health. Fran’s research focuses on people’s lived experiences of health, health services and the health system. Her expertise and experience is in the application of social sciences methods (quantitative and qualitative) and health systems thinking to guide policy and practice. Fran brings to the Stillbirth CRE a detailed understanding of perinatal bereavement and, as co-lead of the Care after Stillbirth program, is committed to improving outcomes for women and families through the implementation and evaluation of best practice parent-centred perinatal bereavement care.


  • Professor Christine East

    Professor Christine East

    Co-lead Clinical Education; Co-lead Research Capacity Development

    Christine East has extensive research and clinical experience and wide reaching collaborative networks. These have enabled the development of research efforts for evaluating and improving the perinatal health of Australia’s mothers and babies. Professor East’s research networks and endeavours compliment her appointment as the inaugural Professor of Midwifery, Monash University and Monash Health, Victoria, given her detailed understanding of the interface between the clinical setting and academia. Professor East has led changes to clinical practice at Monash Health through the introduction of evidence-based guidelines and internationally through systematic reviews of her own and others’ studies.

  • Dr Dell Horey

    Dr Dell Horey

    Co-lead Care After Stillbirth

    Dr Horey has qualifications in science and epidemiology and a strong background in consumer participation. She has undertaken a range of research projects using mixed methods and has advanced skills in conceptual thinking. She is an Editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Consumers and Communication Review Group and was the Australasian Coordinator for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Review Group Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2007. Dr Horey was a Research Fellow at La Trobe University from 2006 to 2013 and previously held similar roles at the Centre for Adolescent Health at Melbourne University and the Health Issues Centre.

  • Professor Jeremy Oats

    Professor Jeremy Oats

    Perinatal Mortality Audit and Classification; Clinical guidelines

    Jeremy Oats has a strong record both nationally and internationally as a clinical academic Obstetrician specialising in the epidemiology of gestational diabetes and causes of mortality and morbidity related to pregnancy. With leadership roles in a number of major organizations responsible for the provision and enhancement of maternity services, Professor Oats has a proven capacity to play central and active roles in the translation of clinical research into both national and international practice enhancement. He is the Chair of the Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity, Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is a consultant Obstetrician at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. He is Co-Chair of the National Clinical Practice Guidelines – Antenatal Care and member of the AIHW National Maternal Mortality and Perinatal Mortality Advisory Group. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the ANZ Child Death Review and Prevention Group.

  • Professor Yee Khong

    Professor Yee Khong

    Perinatal Pathology

    Yee Khong has research interests in diagnostic placental pathology and social and diagnostic aspects of the perinatal autopsy. Professor Khong was an invited expert to contribute to the chapter on placental pathology in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s Taskforce on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy. He also recently convened an international collaboration to harmonise placental examination, nomenclature and definition of lesions (Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group). Professor Khong has been a tutor for the International Paediatric Pathology Association Advanced Course in 2001 and 2013, and the Update Course in 2015.

  • Professor Vicki Clifton

    Professor Vicki Clifton

    Co-lead: Placental biomarkers of pregnancies at risk of stillbirth

    Professor Vicki Clifton is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow who is currently the Program leader of Mothers and Babies Theme at Mater Medical Research Institute in Brisbane Australia. Vicki was employed at the Robinson Research Institute, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide from January 2008 to April 2015 after many years at the Mothers and Babies Research Centre in Newcastle, Australia. While at the Robinson Research Institute she was Director of Clinical Research at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, Australia (2009-2014) and leader of the Allergy Research Priority. Prof Clifton spent many years as Treasurer and then President of the Endocrine Society of Australia (2004-2013). She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and obtained a Diploma of Management from the University of Adelaide. Prof Clifton is internationally recognized for her research into the human placenta and is currently Editor of the Placenta Journal (2012-present). She is also an Executive member of the International Society of Endocrinology Board that oversees and supports the activities of the national societies of endocrinology in 80 countries around the world. Her current research focusses on the impact of maternal asthma and other health complications during pregnancy on placental function, fetal growth and childhood development. She has a specific interest in the sex specific differences in the fetal-placental response to a complication of pregnancy understanding the different strategies male and female fetuses institute to cope with an adverse event in pregnancy and how this ensures their survival in early life.

  • Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck

    Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck

    NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow

    Dr. Miranda Davies-Tuck is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, with a focus on perinatal and clinical epidemiology. Located in Melbourne at the Ritchie Centre, she has developed an integrated program of perinatal research, spanning laboratory-based discovery research, clinical trials, implementation science, and health policy to address key maternal health priorities.

    Specifically, Miranda’s work focuses on understanding ethnic differences in maternal and perinatal outcomes, reducing stillbirth, assessing the effectiveness of current antenatal and intrapartum interventions, homebirth and undertaking randomised trials to assess the efficacy of interventions in pregnancy and birth.

    Dr. Davies-Tuck has obtained ~$1M in competitive research funding, including a New Investigator NHMRC Grant (CIA $384, 565).

    In 2015, she also established a collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, now Safer Care Victoria and is a founding member of the Consultative Councils Research Committee. In this role Dr. Davies-Tuck also undertakes research to address health policy priorities and inform government policy.

  • A/Prof Emily Callander

    A/Prof Emily Callander

    Health Economics

    Emily Callander is a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University. She is also an honorary associate at the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney. Doctor Callander specialises in measuring the impact of health on family living standards and is part of an internationally leading research team quantifying the productivity impacts of illness, including leading her own research program making advances in clinical trials to capture productivity benefits of new neonatal interventions and impacts for families and government. 

  • Professor Susan McDonald

    Professor Susan McDonald

    Midwifery mentorship; Clinical guidelines

    Susan McDonald currently holds a full time joint professorial appointment between La Trobe University and Mercy Health in Victoria. Her role encompasses research training and education for midwives, women’s health and neonatal nurses. Professor McDonald is a member of the PSANZ ANZSA Steering Committee , a trainer for IMproving Perinatal mortality Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE), and has been involved in the development of a new PSANZ ANZSA education program related to fetal growth and prevention of stillbirth. Professor McDonald is the deputy Chair, Consultative Council for Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality Morbidity, and a member of the maternal, mortality, morbidity, and stillbirth sub committees. 

  • A/Prof Jane Warland

    A/Prof Jane Warland

    Stillbirth researcher and midwife

    Associate Professor Jane Warland is a passionate researcher in the area of preventative and modifiable risk factors for stillbirth. Her program of research is STELLAR (stillbirth, teaching, epidemiology, loss, learning, awareness and risks). Since becoming an academic in 2008 she has won more than ¼ million (AUD) in research funding, has more than 80 publications (books, chapters, journal articles) and she has presented her research at more than 40 conferences both national (Australian) and international.

  • Dr Glenn Gardener

    Dr Glenn Gardener

    Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist

    Dr Glenn Gardener is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and Director of the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals.

    Dr Gardener has a long held interest in fetal therapy including in-utero surgery and is currently the only specialist in Australia and New Zealand performing fetal surgery for diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida. He regularly performs surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in-utero blood transfusions and other complex in-utero procedures.

    With a particular interest in the prevention of stillbirth, Dr Gardener is involved in research and is a current board member for the International Stillbirth Alliance and leads a Fetal Therapy Special Interest Group through the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ).

    Dr Gardener is actively involved in teaching obstetric ultrasound and passing on his skills to new doctors.

  • Ms Deanna Stuart-Butler

    Ms Deanna Stuart-Butler

    Indigenous Research Officer

    Deanna Stuart-Butler is a descendant of the Arabana people of the ‘Pantu Parnda’ (Lake Eyre) Region of South Australia. She leads the Indigenous work of the NHMRC Stillbirth CRE and associated programs such as the Safer Baby Bundle, chairs the Stillbirth Indigenous Advisory Group and is a member of a number of other stillbirth committees to increase awareness and broaden knowledge of Aboriginal culture, priorities, and needs.  She shares her knowledge on how to encourage Indigenous women to seek and participate in antenatal care, and how to incorporate Aboriginal culture into health service delivery, associated with connection to land, health and wellbeing, life and sorry business. She is leading and co-leading several MRFF and CRE-funded research projects investigating voices of Indigenous families relating to stillbirth, stillbirth research priorities for Indigenous women and extensive adaptation of Stillbirth CRE masterclasses for Indigenous healthcare personnel. She is a founding member of the Aboriginal Community and Families Research Alliance, a group instigated by SAHMRI Women and Kids to translate community priorities into research and to integrate research and policy. She was the first graduate of the SA Aboriginal Maternal Infant Care qualification in 2010, going on to become the manager of the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide. She is particularly passionate about translating research into operational practices within mainstream maternity models to ensure better health and wellbeing for Indigenous babies, women, and their families.

  • Ms Billie Bradford

    Ms Billie Bradford

    PhD Candidate (Midwifery)

    Billie Bradford is currently PhD student at the University of Auckland and Midwife at Hutt Valley Hospital. She is a mother of five who lives in Wellington. While reviewing cases of perinatal death at her previous hospital Billie developed an interest in fetal movements and a fervent hope that research into life before birth might reduce stillbirths. She regularly escapes the Wellington wind for Auckland where she is a full-time PhD student in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.

  • Ms Robin Cronin

    Ms Robin Cronin

    PhD Candidate (Midwifery)

    Robin Cronin is a PhD student researching modifiable risk factors for late stillbirth at the University of Auckland. For the last 4 years she has been the part time project coordinator on the recently completed University of Auckland, New Zealand Multicentre Stillbirth Study. Robin also works in a clinical role as team leader of the Auckland University of Technology education and development service at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland. She has a Master’s degree in Midwifery and an extensive nursing and midwifery background.

  • Ms Jackie Mead

    Ms Jackie Mead

    CEO, Sands

  • Ms Keren Ludski

    Ms Keren Ludski

    CEO, Red Nose

  • Dr Lynn Sinclair

    Dr Lynn Sinclair

    President, Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand

    Dr Lynn Sinclair is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with the NSW Pregnancy and newborn Services Network (PSN), Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Women's and Children's Health UNSW and Associate of the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. She is an active member of several of the PSANZ’s subcommittees including chair of the policy subcommittee and member of the IMPACT Network. Lynn’s PhD highlighted the effects of workplace culture and interpersonal relationships on knowledge generation and translation. Her current research interests include ascertaining how knowledge of neonatal health outcomes informs nursing practice and improving the parent experience including identifying more effective ways of presenting extremely preterm infant outcomes data.

  • Professor Lesley McCowan

    Professor Lesley McCowan

    Maternal Fetal Medicine sub-specialist

    Professor Lesley McCowan is a sub-specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine who became Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland in 2009. In 2011 she received a New Year’s Honour (Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to health.

    Her clinical work is in high risk pregnancy, especially pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction, and she chairs the National Women’s Hospital perinatal mortality review process. She was a founding member of the National Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee which reports on perinatal mortality nationally. Lesley is also the secretary of the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

  • Professor Caroline Homer

    Professor Caroline Homer

    Partner, Australian College of Midwives; Clinical guidelines


    Caroline Homer is currently the President of the Australian College of Midwives and is a registered midwife in Australia. She has led research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care and the development of midwifery practice and education.  Professor Homer’s other research includes the translation of research into clinical practice particularly in maternity care, clinical risk management strategies, and the development of educational strategies to prepare midwives for practice.

  • Dr Sue Vlack

    Dr Sue Vlack

    Metro North Hospital and Health Service

    Sue Vlack is a public health physician and health services researcher with clinical experience in Indigenous community women's and children's health, working at Metro North Public Health Unit. Doctor Vlack chaired the original Indigenous Reference Group for Stillbirth Prevention at Mater Research, and contributed to development of Indigenous-specific resources such as Bubba’s Movements and what they mean;  BabyHelp: a diagnostic tool for Indigenous parents and Health Workers; and Indigenous Health Worker Resource Manual for Immunisation in Queensland. Her PhD project was Relating well to people: a mixed-methods evaluation of preventive care implementation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream, urban general practice.

  • Professor Alison Kent

    Professor Alison Kent

    IMPROVE and FGR programmes

    Alison Kent is known nationally and internationally as a clinician and academic with roles in provision of perinatal care, research, and medical education. She is currently a Senior Staff Specialist in Neonatology at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Canberra. Professor Kent has been invited to teach and speak internationally, including developing countries where she has provided education in perinatal mortality classification and prevention. Currently, Professor Kent is the Chair of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Perinatal Mortality Committee and the Continuing Practice and Education Committee of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Alliance. Professor Kent also works with the International Stillbirth Alliance sitting on the Scientific Advisory Committee Executive.

  • Ms Claire Foord

    Ms Claire Foord

    Founder and CEO, Still Aware

    Claire is the Founder and CEO of Still Aware. A passionate advocate, Claire hopes to bring about change and a high level of awareness that stillbirth deserves. Claire’s efforts have been recognised when she was awarded South Australia’s Local Hero, in the 2016 Australian of The Year Awards.

  • Professor Michael Coory

    Professor Michael Coory


    Michael Coory is a highly experienced public health physician and biostatistician. He was formerly a medical epidemiologist with Queensland Health and a researcher with the University of Queensland and Murdoch Children's Research Institute. He is currently based at the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) with an honorary affiliation at The University of Melbourne. As both an academic and bureaucrat, Michael brings valuable knowledge of the Australian healthcare system and has vast expertise in analysis and interpretation of routine clinical data.

  • Ms Meleseini Tai-Roche

    Ms Meleseini Tai-Roche

    Bereaved Mother and Midwife, Medical Student, Consumer Advisory Panel for Still Aware

    Meleseini is a mother to 3 children. She is also a Medical Student and Midwife based in New South Wales. Having experienced the stillbirth of her first son Noah at term. Meleseini is incredibly passionate about stillbirth prevention. Mel is determined to ensure the devastating rates of preventable stillbirth decrease across Australia. Mel has experience in clinical care for women and children, health promotion, rural and remote indigenous health, community and health protocol development, management and primary health care research.





  • Ms Danielle Pollock

    Ms Danielle Pollock

    Bereaved Mother, Psychology Graduate, Phd Candidate, Consumer Advisory Panel for Still Aware

    Danielle Pollock is currently a PhD student at the University of South Australia. She is a mother to three young children. After the stillbirth of her daughter Sofia in 2014, she became interested in empowering women. She is researching the education of stillbirth and modifiable health behaviours (Fetal movements/ sleeping on your side), and how stillbirth stigma impacts the pregnant woman and bereaved mother. When she is not working on her PhD she is teaching Psychology to undergraduate students or going on adventures with her family. 

  • Dr Barb Vernon

    Dr Barb Vernon

    CEO, Women's Healthcare Australasia (WHA)